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Pekin one-ups Lincoln on wind farm; Tazewell Co. seat gets $250,000 fee for zone expansion

The city of Lincoln stands to gain $150,000 in revenue from the Rail Splitter Wind Farm, which is proposed for construction on land miles away from the city limits. But, at a $5,000 annual payment by the wind farm, it will take 30 years to earn that much revenue. At the moment, the city only has a guarantee to receive the annual payments through 2017, when the Lincoln-Logan County Enterprise Zone is due to expire. ...Bottom line, the amount of money Lincoln City Hall will receive pales in comparison to the $250,000 payment the wind farm will make to the city of Pekin.

The city of Lincoln stands to gain $150,000 in revenue from the Rail Splitter Wind Farm, which is proposed for construction on land miles away from the city limits.

But, at a $5,000 annual payment by the wind farm, it will take 30 years to earn that much revenue. At the moment, the city only has a guarantee to receive the annual payments through 2017, when the Lincoln-Logan County Enterprise Zone is due to expire.

State officials could extend the zone's life, but there's no guarantee that will happen.

Bottom line, the amount of money Lincoln City Hall will receive pales in comparison to the $250,000 payment the wind farm will make to the city of Pekin. The payment was revealed last week when the Pekin City Council voted to extend its enterprise zone boundary to the site of the wind farm, which straddles the Tazewell-Logan county border.

Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, parent company of the wind farm, and Pekin aldermen are calling the quarter-million dollar payment "a certification fee" that will help pay for the administrative costs of extending the enterprise zone boundaries.

Lincoln aldermen took essentially the same action Monday as the Pekin City Council by agreeing to extend the local... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The city of Lincoln stands to gain $150,000 in revenue from the Rail Splitter Wind Farm, which is proposed for construction on land miles away from the city limits.

But, at a $5,000 annual payment by the wind farm, it will take 30 years to earn that much revenue. At the moment, the city only has a guarantee to receive the annual payments through 2017, when the Lincoln-Logan County Enterprise Zone is due to expire.

State officials could extend the zone's life, but there's no guarantee that will happen.

Bottom line, the amount of money Lincoln City Hall will receive pales in comparison to the $250,000 payment the wind farm will make to the city of Pekin. The payment was revealed last week when the Pekin City Council voted to extend its enterprise zone boundary to the site of the wind farm, which straddles the Tazewell-Logan county border.

Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, parent company of the wind farm, and Pekin aldermen are calling the quarter-million dollar payment "a certification fee" that will help pay for the administrative costs of extending the enterprise zone boundaries.

Lincoln aldermen took essentially the same action Monday as the Pekin City Council by agreeing to extend the local enterprise zone to the wind farm near Hartsburg and Emden.

Meanwhile, Mayor Beth-Davis Kavelman said her comments about the annual payment were misconstrued in The Courier's coverage of Monday's council meeting. Davis said she did not ask the council to vote for an annual payment of $10,000, as The Courier's story indicated.

Davis-Kavelman said Tuesday she told aldermen that she would have preferred obtaining a $10,0000 yearly payment from Horizon, but she thought the amount might have been considered greedy, so she instead opted for half that amount.

Regional planner Phil Mahler, who has been working with the wind farm development, also asked aldermen Monday to set greed aside in deciding on an annual payment.

The city will earmark its yearly payment to cover enterprise zone administration costs, meaning the council will likely use those funds to partially fund the regional planner's office.

The Logan County Board, which also approved the enterprise zone expansion, will not receive any annual payments from the wind farm. Instead, the county stands to gain about $7,000 in building permit fees for each of the 29 wind turbines that will be constructed in the county.

The Tazewell County Board has yet to take action on the matter.

Horizon Wind Energy's agreements in Logan and Tazewell counties specify that the company will not take advantage of property tax breaks that are one of the incentives of building inside an enterprise zone.

Bill Whitlock, director of development for the wind farm, has said the company only wants to utilize the zones' incentive that will allow the company to pay no sales tax on all in-state purchases of construction materials. He said Horizon intends to make Illinois its point of purchase for the wind turbine components.

City attorney Bill Bates said at Monday's council meeting the materials to build one turbine could range in price from $1 million to $2 million.

 


Source: http://www.lincolncourier.c...

APR 23 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14604-pekin-one-ups-lincoln-on-wind-farm-tazewell-co-seat-gets-250-000-fee-for-zone-expansion
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